Sunday, August 22, 2010
Silence Is Not Golden For Indiana Cornerback
So here is Richard Council, fifth-year senior cornerback, confident guy, target of critics for some missed plays a season ago, back for one final shot at glory.
Oh, and one other thing –- to talk smack, trash talk and, in short, get in receivers heads.
Council is a top contender to earn one of the two starting cornerback positions. In Saturday’s scrimmage, he had five tackles. He is 6-1 and 201 pounds. He played his high school ball in Texas, which means football is in his DNA.
Here’s what we know: he redshirted his first year, didn’t play in his second. As a redshirt sophomore he played in 10 games (missing the last two with an ankle injury) and totaled 45 tackles and led the team with nine pass breakups.
He slipped last season and played in nine games with 22 tackles and two pass break ups. He took some heat and vowed to get better.
What exactly are his prospects for this season? Let’s turn to the man in the know, Indiana coach Bill Lynch.
“He had a great offseason. A year ago he got called out for a play here or there. I don’t think it was totally fair, but that’s the nature of the position. It’s like quarterback. A guy can go one of two ways when that happens, and he’s responded in a real positive way.
“We saw it in the winter and the spring, and you can tell it from the summer, when he really latched on to (senior receiver) Terrance Turner. They pushed each other.”
All that pushing has elevated his play and his talking.
“He’s a fun-loving guy and he has that (confident) personality,” Lynch said. “What he’s done in camp is backed it up with his play.”
Confident cornerback play is among the keys for an Indiana team looking for a bowl opportunity. Another is a solid running game. It helps to have Darius Willis back and healthy after a brief bout with a tweaked hamstring. He can be a dominant ball carrier because he’s big and fast and skilled.
Trea Burgess is big and strong (6-1, 225 pounds) and is the only running back who has been healthy the entire camp. Redshirt freshman Nick Turner has blazing speed, redshirt junior Zach Davis-Walker also has struggled with injuries. Freshman Antonio Banks enrolled last winter and has potential. Another freshman, Matt Perez, also has been solid, but will likely be redshirted.
“We need consistency out of the running back position,” Lynch said. “Darius being hurt so much had something to do with it. It’s important for us to figure out what the rotation will be there.”